October Food Safety News and Industry Round-up
FDA launched a new era for smarter food safety and new food safety dashboards reflecting the impacts of FSMA, while INFOSAN noted a decline in global food safety incidents at the same time the European Food Safety Commission launched a call to develop a research and innovation platform for improving the food safety systems of the future. The October 2019 industry round up includes significant global updates from all major markets. Watch the below for more:
- Record turnout for New Era of Smarter Food Safety
The FDA noted a record turnout for a meeting on its latest initiative for a new era of smarter food safety. The open event took input from those in person and through a live webcast and focused on 4 areas:
- Tech-Enabled Traceability and Outbreak Response
- Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention
- Adapting to New Business Models and Retail Food Safety Modernization
- Food Safety Culture
The comments received are to be considered as the FDA assembles its blueprint for the new era and further comments are welcome until November 20th.
- New Food Safety Dashboards
The FDA also launched two online dashboards that monitor key metrics reflecting the impacts from FSMA regulations. There are separate dashboards for Preventative Controls and Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Imported Food Safety Measures. These are free to use and can be accessed at the link below:
INFOSAN report decline in food safety incidents
The International Food Safety Authorities Network has released figures showing its involvement in food safety events decreased from 29 incidents in Q2 2019, to 18 in Q4 2019.
Of the 18 alerts, 11 were concerning a biological hazard, with Salmonella being the most common
GFSI appoint new director
The GFSI has appointed Erica Sheward as its new Director.
She comes directly from Leatherhead Food Research part of Science Group and previous to this had accrued a wealth of experience from academic and the public sector.
US impose tariffs on EU aircraft and agricultural products
The US has moved to impose tariffs worth $7.5bn dollars on goods imported from the EU.
The decision stems from a prolonged disagreement between both parties over subsidies for Airbus and Boeing.
Taking effect from the 18th of October, the tariffs affect a range of agricultural items by 25% including French Wine, Italian Cheese, Scottish Whiskey and Irish pork and butter, among many others.
USDA opens enrollment for 2020 Dairy margin Coverage program
The USDA has opened the enrollment period for the Dairy Margin Coverage for next year.
The program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy products when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount.
Already, this year, the program has given given more than $300m to dairy farmers, and the deadline for enrollment is December 13.
EFSA launch call for improving the food safety systems of the future
The European Commission launched a call to develop a research and innovation platform on food safety, which is intended to make it easier for national food safety authorities, EU agencies, policy-makers, the scientific community and civil society to coordinate research efforts while facilitating new approaches to communication on food safety.
The deadline for applications is 22 January next year.
Incoming EU health chief sets out priorities
Greece’s EU commissioner Stella Kyriakides was questioned by MEPs earlier this month on priorities including food safety, food fraud and antimicrobial resistance.
Kyriakides will strive for a comprehensive strategy with member states to tackle food fraud that will take inspiration from the work of the European Anti-Fraud Office.
Kyriakides is expected to take up the new role on November 1st.
UK FSA downplays rise in reported food crime
The UK Food Standards Agency has revealed that food crimes are at their highest level since the 2013 horse meat scandal with 1,193 reports of food crime made to the National Food crime Unit (NFCU), and a further 364 in the first quarter of 2019.
The FSA has downplayed the need for alarm and has claimed that year on year comparisons cannot be accurately made due to how food crime was categorized and reported since data was collected, and that reports and offences are not directly comparable, as one incident may have spurred several reports.
UK Beef Update
Beef producers in the UK have incurred loses of about £170m over a 10 month period from November 2018 to August 2019.
The long-term drop in price is being attributed to multiple factors, including an estimated 14-15% drop in demand as consumers switch to other protein alternatives.
At the same time, a trade deal between Britain and China worth £230m which approves four sites in Northern Ireland and England to export to China has been approved, and marks the first exports to China from the UK, since the BSE outbreak in the late 1990s.
Listeria recall in Germany
Elsewhere, in Germany, Listeria-contaminated food has caused the death of three people.
It’s claimed that German authorities were slow to react to the recall, which has involved approximately 1,100 product names.
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